CD REVIEW: Cronic - 'Noi'
By Steve Allat - 08/15/2004 - 11:46 PM EDT
For Fans Of: heavy metal
Fav Track: Water Surrounds Me, Extraction, Take My Life.
Cronic jumps out and grabs you from the first notes. I don't think they're holding anything back.
Cronic consists of just 2 members - Craig Davis and Ingrid Baumgart, who share playing duties amongst all instruments on the disc. Between them, they strive to pummel us with a stream of heavy, melodic, commercially-challenged songs with a purpose.
Since they play all the instruments, you would think that the songs would sound cohesive, but it's for this reason that I find that doing just that may have been a little too much. The main detraction from the songs remaining melodic, which they are in the guitar and vocals, is the drumming. Being a batter myself, I can appreciate the effort, but feel that it missed the mark on most occasions, throwing the melody off with too much playing. The playing wasn't 'bad', or uninteresting - it just didn't always serve the song, laying the groove in behind.
Ingrid's vocals are very reminiscent of both Chrissie Hynde and Shirley Manson while remaining distinct enough to go beyond. They are upfront, sometimes sounding a little 'biting' or a little off, but that actually adds to the interest instead of detracting. Could have gone either way, so this just shows that Ingrid indeed owns these songs. Her backing vocals are most often used with good effect, as are Craig's sparse lead and backing efforts which I would have enjoyed more of. The vocals effect on 'Animal' works to great effect.
The heavy guitar is great most of the time and drives the songs. I would guess that Craig is a guitar man firstly and handles the rest of the duties on an as needed basis, performing admirably. Ingrid lays down the rhythm nicely. It seems a good combo and I'd be interested in knowing who's playing what on which songs as they're both listed as playing - everything!
If I had one wish for this CD, it would be to have a seasoned drummer/percussionist hold the groove so that the melodies could be more prominent and grounded. The rest of the performance and song ideas are very interesting and could easily be polished up and served up to the masses.
A little more production would also slightly soften the edge of the sound throughout the CD as it borders on harsh a couple times, even though it doesn't quite get there.
'Extraction' stands out as a song that I could hear everyday.
A little more work, and I think they'll have something noteworthy for us.
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